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Released March 11, 2005


NEW SOUTHERN MISS CENTER TO FOCUS
ON REGIONAL ECONOMIC RESEARCH

HATTIESBURG – Businesses and governmental decision makers across South Mississippi now have a new resource for timely information about economic trends and issues through a new center in The University of Southern Mississippi's College of Business.

It is the goal of the newly created Bureau of Business and Economic Research to be a contact between the College of Business and the regional business community, said its director Dr. William Gunther, professor of economics.

"The bureau will be a one-stop source of information about the South Mississippi economy and population," said Gunther. "The bureau will provide a structure through which we can focus on ongoing work regarding regional economic policy, economic growth and the economic education of our citizens." While other entities do work in this area, the BBER will pull it all together in one place, he added.

Initial work has already begun in economic education, one of the three major focus areas for the bureau.

Collaborating with the Mississippi Council on Economic Education, the College of Business hosted one of five regional workshops for Mississippi K-12 public schoolteachers March 2 in Hattiesburg. The workshops are designed to help prepare teachers as they implement a new economics curriculum in schools throughout the state this fall.

Susan Doty, of Hattiesburg, lead educator for the MCEE, will also be involved in future initiatives in this area through the Center for Economics Education that will operate under the auspices of the BBER at Southern Miss.

Policy issues and economic forecasting round out the other areas of the bureau's focus, said Gunther. "With information generated through the bureau's activities, we hope to provide a view of the economic implications of public policy options for our state," he said.

"The work of the bureau will be consistent with the university's vision of creating and applying knowledge to improve the quality of life for the citizens of South Mississippi and the entire state," said Dr. Harold Doty, dean of the College of Business. "The BBER will be able to highlight some of our ongoing applied business research and at the same time, further educate the citizens of Mississippi about pertinent economic issues."

Among the activities faculty researchers aim to conduct on behalf of the BBER are individual studies on a variety of topics, a quarterly newsletter with data of interest to decision makers and an annual economic outlook conference.

For additional information on BBER activities, contact Gunther at (601) 266-5049.

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April 8, 2005 3:36 PM